Automatic For The People
Slowing to chew over mortality and loss, R.E.M. produce their masterpiece. After the vim and lushness of 1991’s Out of Time, these songs are strikingly reflective. However they’re tethered to gorgeous melodies that rise like a lump in the throat on “Try Not to Breathe”, and pull you in with a consoling arm on “Everybody Hurts” and “Nightswimming”’s mournful nostalgia. The politicised “Ignoreland” ignites energy and rage but this is largely beautiful melancholy demanding to be immersed in.